Top Spot of the Week: Grey, SMUGGLER Director Ivan Zacharias Tackle Climate Change In Volvo's Safety-First Campaign


Robert Goldrich
Wednesday, Apr. 7, 2021


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In this film directed by Ivan Zacharias of SMUGGLER--part of a global campaign created by Grey--a spokesman named Bjorn takes viewers on a tour of Volvo’s impressive safety tests over the decades, replete with crash test dummies. Bjorn then heads up north to the Arctic Circle where he asks whether a staged 100-foot drop of a Volvo qualifies as the ultimate vehicular safety test. 

A collapsing glacier nearby provides the answer, interrupting the film with a stark reminder that the biggest threat to our safety isn’t on the road. Today, climate change is the ultimate safety test.

This bold statement represents a new chapter for Volvo Cars and their ambition to become a climate neutral company across their value chain by 2040. Their plan to become a fully electric car company by 2030, with half of their global sales being fully electric by 2025, is a key step towards reaching this ambition. Last year one in three of its cars sold in Europe was a rechargeable model. Volvo Cars is hoping to lead the industry’s transition to zero emission mobility which is critical to limiting the impacts of climate change.

Volvo Cars’ plan builds on its conviction that fewer and fewer people want traditionally powered cars. With current and future legislation expected to boost the market for electric cars, Volvo Cars also expects accessible, high-quality charging infrastructure will be more common, accelerating the demand for fully electric cars.

Javier Campopiano, Grey’s chief creative officer in Europe and creative chairman, U.K., said: “Working for Volvo Cars, a brand that cares, both about people safety and the world we live in, is a privilege. By creating the notion of the Ultimate Safety Test, we’ve just crystallized those principles and the menace our planet faces; a collapsing glacier represents the ultimate and biggest threat, the one we all need to tackle to be safe”.

The film was shot in extreme conditions at the Arctic Circle in temperatures of -10C, with crew members wearing polar expedition suits in order to be able to operate. 


Client Volvo Cars Agency Grey John Patroulis, global chief creative officer; Javier Campopiano, chief creative officer, Europe, creative chairman, U.K., and copywriter; Laura Jordan Bambach, president/CCO UK; Emiliano Gonzalez De Pietri, global executive creative director, Volvo, Sam Haynes, creative director/copywriter; John Gibson, creative director/art director; Raquel Chicourel, chief strategy officer; Bhavin Pabari, Gilliam Caldwell-Dunn, strategic planners; Lindsay Moyes, sr. producer; Michael Stephens, designer. Social Media Agency Wildfire Vikesh Amey Bhatt, creative director; Asad Shaykh, strategy director. Production SMUGGLER Ivan Zacharias, director; Nick Landon, producer; Jan Velicky, DP; Robin Brown, production design. Photography Getty Images Philipp Rohner, photographer.

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